Effect of dietary protein concentration on ammonia and greenhouse gas emitting potential of dairy manure

C. Lee, A. N. Hristov, C. J. Dell, G. W. Feyereisen, J. Kaye, D. Beegle

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48 Scopus citations


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of dietary crude protein concentration on ammonia (NH 3) and greenhouse gas (GHG; nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide) emissions from fresh dairy cow manure incubated in a controlled environment (experiment 1) and from manure-amended soil (experiment 2). Manure was prepared from feces and urine collected from lactating Holstein cows fed diets with 16.7% (DM basis; HCP) or 14.8% CP (LCP). High-CP manure had higher N content and proportion of NH 3- and urea-N in total manure N than LCP manure (DM basis: 4.4 vs. 2.8% and 51.4 vs. 30.5%, respectively). In experiment 1, NH 3 emitting potential (EP) was greater for HCP compared with LCP manure (9.20 vs. 4.88mg/m 2 per min, respectively). The 122-h cumulative NH 3 emission tended to be decreased 47% (P=0.09) using LCP compared with HCP manure. The EP and cumulative emissions of GHG were not different between HCP and LCP manure. In experiment 2, urine and feces from cows fed LCP or HCP diets were mixed and immediately applied to lysimeters (61×61×61cm; Hagerstown silt loam; fine, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludalf) at 277kg of N/ha application rate. The average NH 3 EP (1.53 vs. 1.03mg/m 2 per min, respectively) and the area under the EP curve were greater for lysimeters amended with HCP than with LCP manure. The largest difference in the NH 3 EP occurred approximately 24h after manure application (approximately 3.5 times greater for HCP than LCP manure). The 100-h cumulative NH 3 emission was 98% greater for HCP compared with LCP manure (7,415 vs. 3,745mg/m 2, respectively). The EP of methane was increased and that of carbon dioxide tended to be increased by LCP compared with HCP manure. The cumulative methane emission was not different between treatments, whereas the cumulative carbon dioxide emission was increased with manure from the LCP diet. Nitrous oxide emissions were low in this experiment and did not differ between treatments. In the conditions of these experiments, fresh manure from dairy cows fed a LCP diet had substantially lower NH 3 EP, compared with manure from cows fed a HCP diet. The LCP manure increased soil methane EP due to a larger mass of manure added to meet plant N requirements compared with HCP manure. These results represent effects of dietary protein on NH 3 and GHG EP of manure in controlled laboratory conditions and do not account for environmental factors affecting gaseous emissions from manure on the farm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1930-1941
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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